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Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands

Summary

The Cayman Islands have a population of 58,441, and are comprised of three islands — the Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman — in the Caribbean Sea.1 The islands are a popular financial hub; 280 banks, 700 insurers and 10,500 mutual funds are registered on the island, with 65,000 companies in total, as the island has no direct taxation.2 The standard of living on the island is similar to that of Switzerland.3 Tourism from North America is steady, and appeals to a luxury market.4 The GDP in purchasing power is $2.5 billion.5 The Cayman Islands are a self-governing, British overseas territory whose interests are represented by a governor and a premier.6 1 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cj.html 2–6 Ibid

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Environment
Family
Human Rights
Education
Poverty
Religion
Clean Water
Economy
Government
Health
Children
Animals

Environment

The Cayman Islands are vulnerable to hurricanes, particularly from July to November.1 The Cayman Islands are also home to the blue iguana, an endangered species, and the Queen Elizabeth II Royal Botanic Park acts as a sanctuary for the blue iguana.2 Due to the efforts of Fred Burton and the Royal Botanic Park, the blue iguana was removed from the critically endangered list in 2013.3 The island has no fresh groundwater resources, and relies upon reverse osmosis water treatment plants to provide its population with water.4 Additionally, there are inadequate waste treatment and recycling facilities on the island.5

Family

Divorce is permitted in the Cayman Islands, but one party must prove fault in order to be granted a divorce.1 There is also an enforced 2 year waiting period.2 Same-sex marriage is not legal in the Cayman Islands, though it is a British territory, and same-sex marriage is legal in the UK.3

Human Rights

The Human Rights Commission is responsible for the promotion and protection of basic human rights for Caymanian citizens.1 The committee seeks to improve the comprehension and preservation of human rights on the islands, under the Cayman Islands Bill of Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities. 2 Same-sex marriage is not legal in the Cayman Islands, though it is a British territory, and same-sex marriage is legal in the UK.3

Education

Just over 8,000 children are enrolled in schools across the public and private schools on the islands.1 Education is free and compulsory until the child has completed the 12th grade.2 The education system is overseen by the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands.3

Poverty

Unemployment is just 4 percent in the Cayman Islands,1 and the population below the poverty line is just 1.9 percent.2 Food is expensive, as most of it must be imported. It is reported that 3.7 percent of the population lives in conditions that leave them vulnerable to poverty.3

Religion

The Cayman Islands are predominantly Protestant, 67.8 percent, including the Church of God, Seventh Day Adventist, Presbyterian/United Church, Baptist, Pentecostal, non-denominational, Anglican and Wesleyan.1 The remaining population is Roman Catholic, 14.1 percent, Jehovah’s Witness, 1.1 percent, and other, none or unspecified accounting for the other 10 percent.2 Additionally, there are tiny pockets of Baha’I, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim individuals who hold house services rather than meeting temples, churches or mosques.3

Clean Water

Currently, 97.4 percent of the population on the Cayman Islands has access to clean water, and 95.6 percent has access to proper sanitation facilities.1 In 1981, the Water and Sewerage Project Office was established to develop a water and sanitation plan for the Cayman Islands, with the help of the United Nations.2 In 1983, the Water Authority Law was enacted to cultivate and manage fresh groundwater resources.3 The Water Authority utilizes reverse osmosis to desalinate water in order to make groundwater usable for the public. The Water Authority supervises 5 reverse osmosis plants and 10 reservoirs.4

Economy

As the Cayman Islands are virtually free of taxation, 65,000 companies are registered in the islands, with 280 banks and 10,500 mutual funds.1 International finance and tourism make up 80 percent of the GDP.2 The standard of living on the islands is comparable to that of Switzerland.3 Over 2 million tourists visited the Cayman Islands in 2016, and 79 percent of the population is in the service industry.4 The unemployment rate is just 4 percent.5 The Cayman Islands’ GDP in purchasing power is $2.5 billion.6

Government

The Cayman Islands are a self-governing, British overseas territory whose interests are represented by a governor and a premier.1 The governor is appointed by the monarch, and the premier is elected by the majority party. Suffrage is universal and the legal voting age is 18.2 In 2017, the government adopted anti-money laundering legislation to reduce the risk of laundering and other financial crimes.3 The Cayman Islands are recognized by the United States as a Country of Primary Concern in regards to money laundering and other financial crimes.4

Health

There are three hospitals on the Cayman Islands, but residents may be sent overseas for more specialized health conditions.1 Hospitals and other care facilities are governed by the Health Services Authority.2 The life expectancy is 81 years at birth.3 The infant mortality rate is 5.9 deaths for every 1,000 live births.4 Four percent of the population lacks access to proper sanitation facilities.5

Children

The infant mortality rate is 5.9 deaths for every 1,000 live births, a low rate on an international scale.1 There are just over 10,000 children on the island, and children ages 0–14 make up 18 percent of the population.2 The Children’s Health Task Force (CHTF) studies the health and wellness of children on the islands. According to the CHTF, 22 percent of Cayman children are overweight, and nearly 15 percent are at risk of becoming overweight. As a result, the task force is targeting Grade 7 students in particular to test a pilot project attempting to remedy the issue.3 The Palermo Protocol prohibits the trafficking of both women and children.4

Animals

Sea turtles, agoutis, hickatee turtles, the blue iguana, green iguana and Sister Islands rock iguana, bananaquit, brown booby, frigate birds, herons, egrets and sandpipers, as well as the Grand Cayman parrot and Cayman Brac parrot, are all inhabitants of the Cayman Islands.1 Iguanas receive the right of way on roadways in the Cayman, and the Sister Islands Rock iguana is a protected species.2 The blue iguana is an endangered species, and the Queen Elizabeth II Royal Botanic Park acts as a sanctuary for the species.3 Due to the efforts of Fred Burton and the Royal Botanic Park, the blue iguana was removed from the critically endangered list in 2013.4 Turtling once depleted the islands’ turtle population, as the turtles were hunted for their meat. The Read More Cayman Turtle Center was founded in 1968, and was designed to raise turtle for meat purpose so that wild turtles and their young offspring would not be harmed.5 After a few changes in ownership, and in purpose, the Cayman Turtle Center became a preserve, but has suffered the effects of a number of hurricanes. The most recent data states there are 5000 turtles in the Center.6 Show Less

Cayman Islands

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